Social Media in the Super Bowl, and how to take advantage


Super Bowl LI is happening in Houston this weekend, Sunday February 5. A current 30 second commercial slot is reportedly going for a record $5 million, not all companies can afford that sort of exposure even if it may be worth the steep price. The over/under for viewership at Super Bowl 51 has been set at 117 million people according to oddsmakers at Bovada. Even with more overall viewers than any television program ever, most companies do not have $5 million to spend on advertising. So what can those companies do to take advantage of the most marketable event of the year?


Huffington Post wrote a great article that included some tips for companies to use social media to their advantage on Super Bowl Sunday without breaking the bank. The article included some staggering data gathered by Salesforce, a cloud computing company that tracks and monitors social media activity during the big game. They created the “Big Game Social Tracker,” through this software; companies can figure out the number of conversations about the game and advertisements, most mentioned terms and hashtags, top brands, social sentiments, and even go as far as break it down by region and gender. This is extremely valuable information to a company trying use social media as an effective strategy for advertising during the Super Bowl. During last years game, Salesforce put together some statistics on social media use and expect even these numbers to increase dramatically this year.

  • 66% of Super Bowl viewers used Facebook during the game, making it number 1 social channel
  • Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat followed Facebook, in that order, as most used social channels
  • 11% of viewers used Snapchat, of 18-24 year olds it was 43%
  • 61% of people watching used a smartphone
  • 72% of individuals 18-24 years old had a smartphone in hand
  • 73% of the viewers for Super Bowl LI plan to use at least two devices during the game 

So what can brands and companies take away from these and other statistics involving social media and the Super Bowl? Huffington Post breaks it down with just a few suggestions.

First and most importantly, Develop an Engagement Strategy. Advertisers must link their content to social media that will maximize audience engagement.

Next, the article suggests; Use multiple channels, make them work together and be personal. Consumers expect companies to interact in real time and be able to see them on different platforms. The brands that use analytics can focus on certain customers and platforms to customize their offerings.

Another very important point, Know your audience. It may seem basic, but use the statistics and what you know to figure out who your consumer is. Invest in a social listening capability that is integrated in your platform and applications. This allows advertisers to deliver personalized content.

The new key is the Social Second – Screen. The link between social marketing and revenue increased 3 times from 2015 to 2016. All marketers agree that social media advertising is core to their business. In 2016, 39% of marketers reported significant ROI from social media marketing versus 2015 that was only 9%. Huffington Post states that, “Super Bowl ad campaigns must be supported by a variety of content that can be delivered to viewers  across their channel of choice, during and after the big game.”

Finally, Invite engagement and keep it simple! Give viewers an opportunity to engage in conversation and interaction with your companies, keep campaigns simple. A user friendly, catchy hashtag goes a long way.

This Sunday is a huge day, not just for the sports world but also for many brands and companies. Consumers are available and engaged. It’s up to advertisers to utilize the availability of the some 100 million + viewers during the Super Bowl to their advantage. Through analytics, it’s obvious that many of these people will be using social media and other devices while watching. Companies need to engage across many platforms, but also use specific strategies and tactics to reach the correct audience. With this audience, brands need to engage and customize their advertising. This process has yielded a solid return on investment in the past and with projections for viewers, social media use, and multiple devices used being higher than ever before; I don’t see this trend changing.

Enjoy the company, some cold beverages, hot wings, chips and dips and maybe cruise around Twitter and Facebook on the big day. Super Bowl Sunday should be a national holiday (Monday should be a day off), and I believe the play on the field between the Patriots and Falcons in Houston will be wild. Maybe go Pats (Brady). Enjoy the game!



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